Friday, April 17, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 04-16-09

Wash. Post ignores report on left-wing groups in citing claim that DHS report is "politically biased"
In an article about "widespread criticism" of a DHS report detailing potential increases in right-wing extremism, The Washington Post reported the claim that the report is "incomplete and politically biased," but did not note that DHS previously issued a similar assessment of left-wing extremism. Read More

"Fair and balanced" Fox News is anything but in coverage of tea parties
Despite its promise to deliver "total fair and balanced network coverage" of the April 15 tea party protests, Fox News repeatedly promoted the protests on that day and engaged in inflammatory rhetoric during its coverage. Read More

"I saw it on Fox": Dozens of articles on local tea parties report Fox News had a hand in them
Dozens of articles about tea parties in various cities reported that Fox News and its hosts helped influence, start, or turn out participants to local protests. Read More

Fox News' tea party coverage makes mockery of claim that network provides "straight ... news" in daytime
While Fox News executives' claim "the channel plays it straight with its daytime news programming," during coverage of the tea party protests, daytime anchors, reporters, and guests repeatedly promoted and touted the events before and on April 15, often echoing participants' rhetoric. Read More

Crowley cites poll to show "fertile political ground" for tea parties, but ignores Gallup's conclusion
Candy Crowley claimed that Republicans may find "fertile political ground" on the issue of taxes, citing a Gallup poll on taxes as evidence. However, Gallup said of the results of that poll: "Gallup finds Americans' views of their federal income taxes about as positive as at any point in the last 60 years." Read More

CNN's Crowley understates Making Work Pay tax credit
Candy Crowley claimed of the Making Work Pay tax credit: "The average tax cut is somewhere between $10 and $13." But Crowley did not explain that those figures apply per week, adding up to an annual tax credit of $400 per individual and $800 for families. Read More

Fox Nation, Drudge Report, CNS distortion: White House requested "Jesus" be hidden during speech
The Fox Nation and the Drudge Report advanced a article claiming the White House requested that Georgetown University "hide[] 'Jesus' " during a speech there by President Obama. However, as the CNS article noted, the White House requested "all signs and symbols" on the stage -- not solely the name of Jesus -- be covered. Read More

Cable news caricatures immigration issue with ubiquitous footage of border-crossers
A Media Matters analysis found that April 9 reports about immigration policy on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News frequently featured footage of people apparently crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. The footage distorts the issue; it does not address in any meaningful way the reality of their lives or the nation's challenges in dealing with the issue. Read More

Hannity ignored payroll taxes to claim nearly 50% don't pay taxes
Sean Hannity claimed that nearly "50 percent of Americans don't pay anything in taxes." In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, more than 88 percent of families and independent individuals will pay payroll or income taxes for 2009. Read More

Fox News anchors lash out at CNN reporter who said network "highly promoted" tea parties
Gregg Jarrett said of a report at a tea party by CNN's Susan Roesgen: "[S]he took a swipe at Fox News saying, well, we contrived the whole thing, which is, of course, preposterous." In fact, Roesgen did not say Fox News "contrived the whole thing"; she said the network "highly promoted" the protests. Read More

Fox News continues with DHS freak-out even after Smith and Herridge's debunking
Even after Shepard Smith reported that a DHS report on right-wing extremism "isn't about tea party folks," Fox News hosts and contributors continued to advance the claim that the Obama administration is targeting tea party attendees, as well as conservatives and others, simply because of political differences. Read More

Free from facts: CNN repeatedly misrepresented "Tax Freedom Day"
CNN anchors and correspondents misrepresented the Tax Foundation's "Tax Freedom Day" to falsely claim to viewers that, in the words of correspondent Christine Romans, "[e]very penny you earned up until this very moment this year went to pay your taxes." Read More reports GOP reps' attacks on DHS report without noting findings by Bush FBI reported that Rep. Peter King "called for a hearing to investigate a Department of Homeland Security report that highlights security risks posed by extremist groups and disgruntled veterans." But The Hill did not note that the DHS cited an FBI report authored under President Bush that previously identified this pattern. Read More

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